Big fan of Kawauchi. Truly happy for him and Des.
Yuki was seen as a real danger in given weather by Wilson Chebet and me - cold, can run downhill, has ability to suffer. We anticipated he will go fast, but were not sure how fast. We knew he will try to break the group as early as possible and we knew that Geoffrey will throw big and steady pace-changer in final 10km or so - once he was "sure" that it was time to move.
Hypothermia, uncontrolled shivering and subsequent higher rate of burn of glycogen for more than several athletes played the role. Physiology usually wins, especially in extreme weather.
Yuki survived better than most and ability of his body to cope better and avoid major issues was awarded with the victory that is well-deserved. There was no domination, just survival while racing on the thin edge of risk taken and that was beautiful enough for the most.
D. from Ikaika Sports -- Wilson Chebet's management