Spare Bike - Kumamoto Daiichi
Prior to the Inter High, Taura Yoshiaki convinces his team to take a different practice route than usual to pray at Asofumoto Shrine on the way back, for his team's victory and for his injured teammate, Yoshimoto Shin, who he has known since his first year of high school and built the current team together with. Yoshimoto injured his leg at their prefectural tournament after falling from his bike. Taura confidently talks about how his team will win and bring back at least one award from the Inter High for their injured comrade. He laughs when Ise sadly talks about Yoshimoto, and encourages him to cheer up and harbor their team's tenacious spirit. After Taura pulls for the team, Fujiwara takes the lead and exclaims he'll do his best to win the mountain checkpoint at the Inter High. Taura encourages him to win the red bib tags.
The team practices, and then arrives at the shrine to pray and buy protective amulets. Taura takes longer than the others in silent prayer, and Ise wonders if he's praying extra for Yoshimoto, as Taura always visits him at the hospital after practice. (Which Ise apparently discovered from spying on the two, as he's seen peeking around Yoshimoto's hospital room door.) Afterward, they all leave the shrine confident in the strength of their team.
According to the anime, Fujiwara was caught up at the same crash on Day 1 that took Onoda to the back of the standings, although this isn't shown at the time.
On the second day, Kumamoto Daiichi is neck-and-neck with the few riders of Sohoku; Fujiwara is present as Taura Yoshiaki mocks Sohoku about how they saw Tadokoro Jin being drafted by Onoda Sakamichi far behind in the race, near the pack instead of being in last place or out of the race entirely. Like Taura, he and the rest of their team don't understand why Naruko Shoukichi is surprised and then excited, as Sohoku knows what Onoda is capable of and believes he will return Tadokoro to them.
On the third day, Taura is able to pull Ise and the still-injured Fujiwara up the slopes on the third day, but Fujiwara decides to drop out early on. Kumamoto Daiichi gets caught up by the pack, and is unwilling to ride cooperatively with them, but after hearing Machimiya Eikichi explain the benefits and the plot to take revenge on the top schools, they ride with the pack. Fujiwara being brought to the center of the pack where there is no wind, to be nursed back to health, is one of the tactics Machimiya uses to convince Taura to join his cause.
When Onoda is swallowed by the pack, he meets Taura, who happily explains their plan to take the front. However, Taura, along with the other cyclists, has been deceived: Machimiya mocks him and the others for falling for his plot, and the entire Hiroshima team ditches the pack and rides ahead. Taura initially believes he's joking, and laughs, but ends up in tears once crushed with reality. With all the sprinters in the pack exhausted, as their pace had been too great, Taura and Kumamoto Daiichi are left behind.