Teshima and Koga wager the captaincy of Sohoku on a sprint at the end of the 2nd day of training camp.
Ride.14 - "The Ordinary Man and the Genius"
Wait a second. Which one was which? Was Teshima the genius or the ordinary man? Oh, don't confuse yourself with everything they said. That crap doesn't count.
For Teshima, the ordinary cyclist, to figure out how to stay on Koga's wheel the entire day with his ordinary ability takes some kind of genius of learning the limits of his body and gauging his opponent's speed and intentions. Even Koga's nickname of the Stamina Simpleton implies that all he's really good at is having a big engine for a steady speed and not any kind of explosive acceleration.
Well, anyway, there wasn't much suspense to the episode, because I knew Teshima would win from the scenes in the opening and closing credits. There was also a couple of these death flags tossed up by Koga himself.
Sohoku may have a lot of brash personalities, but no one on the Inter High team plays dirty. First Koga did the dick move of making a rider hit his back tire. And worse, he did the evil villain glasses move. Game over, man. Game over!
Even if it was temporary insanity because Koga wanted to win so bad, there's always a price to pay for compromising your morals in this show.
Koga's early ride with Onoda to catch up on those 5 laps showed he was still a good guy, but to be on Team Sohoku, you have to race hard while being a good guy. That was Teshima's and Aoyagi's grave sin at last year's training camp, which is why they failed. At least from a narrative sense. They failed because they hurt themselves while relying on dirty tricks instead of being hopped up on nakama power. They learned their lesson.
I noticed the director liked using the quick zoom into characters' eyes. He used it a lot. Too much so, that it became noticeable as a device and irritating. The limit should have been when Koga and Teshima challenged each other to that last sprint before night time rules of no lapping went into effect.
Teshima has tea time and Koga has pizza as their signature snacks. Now Koga's T-shirt in the end card makes sense.
Aoyagi has his own snack time... Supersonic Oxygen 10,000 Bites of Food! This is taking Tadakoro worship too far! Actually, it's just great humor. Koga had his own big plate of food.
We also got the back story on Koga's crash at the Inter High two years ago. He had injured his knee, probably tendonitis, at the training camp and was ordered to stop at the 900 km mark. He kept going, trying to finish, and naturally made it worse after another 80 km and didn't finish. We still haven't got the story on how he got onto the team if he didn't finish the 1000 km, but on the third day of the race after Kinjou's big crash, he tried too hard, took too many risks, tweaked his knee again and crashed hard on his left shoulder. If it was just a collar bone, he would have healed quickly, but he probably tore a whole bunch of tendons and ligaments, which stretched into an 18 month recovery.
They set up Teshima winning the sprint with some pretty heavy handed suspense building. Lots of flashbacks, ordinary guy getting ignored for Koga, never winning a sprint finish even with Aoyagi leading him out... Okay already! Teshima is going to do something he's never done in his life. Kiss a girl! I mean, win a sprint!
As expected, Koga had no kick. Even when he was showing his speed by catching Teshima's first kick while sitting down, he didn't have it when he stood up and Teshima caught him at the line. Teshima again showed superior tactics by making Koga get in front of him too early. Coming around and pipping the line is standard sprint tactics. A rolleur should just sit back and watch his sprinter win.
Oh, a pat on the back. We can't stay mad at you, Koga. Now that you've been sent back to the minor leagues of secondary characters, we can treat you like the smiling nice-guy mechanic again. What we mean to say is, "Loser." Maybe by next week I'll forgive Koga for his evil guy flags. It's just too soon for me, man. Too soon.
Well, Junta and Kimitaka can call each other by their first names again.
Oh, as for Teshima's question on how an ordinary man can beat a genius, the answer was faith. Like one of Sohoku's other bits of team spirit: the race isn't over until you've given everything to cross the finish line. I like my answer better: Teshima was the genius who beat the ordinary Koga.
Ha! The omake made fun of perm-senpai's hair. Teshima can't get rid of his curly hair that easily.
There actually wasn't much porn because of how focused the story was on Teshima and Koga, so I just enjoyed watching Koga's Merida and Teshima's Cannondale go around the track.
Next time, Koga's goal may be to actually finish the 1000 km this time. Maybe we'll get more flashback on how he got onto the team with his hurt knee. I'm still waiting for the elder Kanzaki to show up in those memories somewhere.