The episode begins by backtracking slightly to Onoda as he starts slipping in the rain on the downhill. As we see him fighting to regain control of his bike, he has a flashback to a little earlier in the race, when Imaizumi moved ahead to catch up to Midousuji. The main point of this flashback is for Onoda to remember Imaizumi telling him that he has to pass Midousuji by the end of the race. This flashback also indicates that Imaizumi wants Sohoku to have a one-two finish at the Inter-High.

When we return to Onoda, we see him do something a little unexpected, but it allows him to regain control of his bike and continue the race. The nearby spectators are quite impressed by his feat, and I think they put into words what the viewer is thinking after seeing what Onoda does.

We then return to Midousuji and Imaizumi as they continue racing each other in the rain on the final downhill. They both notice that there’s a large puddle right where the downhill is about to become an uphill again, and we get to hear the two of them talking about the risks posed by the puddle. Midousuji manages to use his manipulation to talk Imaizumi into doing something after Midousuji notices the best way to get around the puddle. Imaizumi realizes what Midousuji did right as he’s hitting the puddle, and it looks like Imaizumi is going to fall behind. But he does something that surprises Midousuji, and Imaizumi ultimately pulls ahead. Midousuji becomes quite broken, because he was so sure Imaizumi would be stuck in the puddle and he’d be assured the lead. Midousuji is rattled by the fact that “Weakizumi” is actually strong, and he tries to catch up with Imaizumi… but something unexpected happens to him, and it changes the trajectory of the race.

We get a brief scene of Yamaguchi and one of the other Kyoto Fushimi riders when they learn about what happened at the front of the race. Yamaguchi becomes quite thoughtful here, and he vocalizes something about Midousuji that I think I know deep down inside, but tend to overlook because of Midousuji’s hubris. But Yamaguchi’s reaction is on point for him.

At the end of the episode, we see Onoda catching up with Imaizumi as they’re down to the last three kilometers of the race. Nothing is established at this point, but knowing that there are still a few episodes left in the cour, someone else is going to have to catch up to these two before long to present the next challenge. It’ll be interesting to see who that’s going to be and how the next race will unfold.

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