The Inter High is a yearly race where the cycling clubs of many high schools from around Japan compete to prove themselves the best. You can read more general information about the Inter High event on the Inter High page.
The 42nd Summer Inter High is being celebrated in Utsunomiya, Tochihi Prefecture. Team Sohoku arrives at the event in Ride 295, though the race does not actually begin until Ride 300. In the anime, the new course is described as more difficult than the last, known as "Sprinter Killer" because it has many steep and long slopes through Toushougu Shrine, a World Heritage Site, with the highest point at 1840m above sea level, roughly twice as high as Hakone, as well as the fact that the last kilometer of sprint checkpoints are also mild uphill climbs. Also, it is a very hot venue, reaching temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius in the morning before the race even starts.
Sohoku High School
Kyoto Fushimi High School
A variety of events occur before the race actually starts. The members of Sohoku assure Onoda he is qualified to wear the #1 zekken because he won first-place last year and returned to race this year, so the number is irrelevant to his role within the team, and Naruko goes to challenge Midousuji and announce his change from sprinter to all-rounder. Issa and Doubashi get into an altercation outside the bathroom and Doubashi cast doubts in Issa's mind about how strong Onoda truly is since Issa never saw the whole race. Komari replaces Hironishi as the sixth member of Kyoto Fushimi then interrupts Imaizumi and Sugimoto's heart-to-heart to grope Imaizumi's lef. Teshima, Ashikiba, and Higashimura, classmates from middle school, have a reunion during which Ashikiba declares his intent to race Teshima as an enemy… and that he does not remember Higashimura’s name. Hakone Gakuen’s final member is revealed to be the younger Shinkai, and Koga talks to Aoyagi about Onoda’s role in this competition. Directly before the race, Aoyagi helps calm Onoda’s nerves, and Sohoku shares a fist bump as a team.
Izumida sends Doubashi out to defeat opposing sprinters and take the first result for Hakone Academy. Teshima calls upon Aoyagi and new member Kaburagi to compete, but Kaburagi still considers himself an all-rounder. Aoyagi literally drags Kaburagi along despite the younger cyclist’s protesting.
In the meantime, Naruko and Izumida both shown discontent as they were held back by their teammates. Despite it being Izumida's orders to send Doubashi to take the sprinter's checkpoint, he was held back by Kuroda to not engage in the battle and attempt to catch up after telling Naruko why he sent Doubashi to attack instead, staing that: Despite Izumida's improved physique, he is still no match to Doubashi in terms of size and sheer aggression. However, Naruko and Izumida still engages in a shorter 150m flag race.
When the pair faces other sprinters, Aoyagi reveals a technique inspired by Tadokoro’s style. He inhales a great deal of air and swells up into a round shape. Using this technique, he pulls Kaburagi ahead of the other sprinters. The calls of Issa as a sprinter grew louder as he has not only kept up with Aoyagi and comfortably holding a conversation, he has passed other Ace sprinters from other schools. When they catch up to Doubashi, Aoyagi notices that Doubashi is as intimidating as his nickname of “monster” suggests. He expects Kaburagi to have a similar reaction, but the Sohoku first year appears unaffected. Unbeknownst to Aoyagi, Issa and Doubashi already met before the race, therefore they were trading barbs at each other, to the point that Issa has no idea how to read zekken at all.
Kaburagi is also unfazed when Doubashi pulls ahead by over 10m, and he cheerfully remarks that Sohoku always “barely” wins, so they should catch up, and he proclaims that "een an all-rounder like me could" because he thinks Doubashi launched himself too early. He pulls Aoyagi along, changing to his lower handlebars in the process, which is a new style he deploys, but Aoyage find his reasoning stupid because it is no more different to Naruko's sprinting style, and Issa was completely unaware that his hands were already on the lower handlebars when Aoyagi was pulling Issa along. Together, they catch up to Doubashi again, and then Aoyagi pulls ahead for a short time until Doubashi follows him. In response, Aoyagi employs a different, original cycling technique which he has dubbed “Bambi Style.” Using this technique in which he focuses energy in his legs, he manages to stay ahead of Doubashi for a while. Just as Doubashi passes him, Kaburagi appears. Aoyagi tells Kaburagi to win the sprint, but Kaburagi still insists that he is an all-rounder. Aoyagi manages to convince Kaburagi to compete with Doubashi for the checkpoint by using the stationary he used to give Kaburagi instructions in the past. Kaburagi mistakenly believed these messages came from the “God of Orange Beena,” and followed them religiously. This finally causes him to take the sprint seriously and he leaves Aoyagi behind to face Doubashi, after Issa realizes he launched Aoyagi too early when Doubashi ripped open his jersey.
Aoyagi deploys Bambi Style 750m to the line, but his legs started giving out nearly 400m to the line, as Kaburagi had been drafting behind Doubashi's jacket (a huge blind spot to Doubashi) and took over the chase. Aoyagi realizes that he won't make it to the line given Doubashi already caught up with him, so Aoyagi told Kaburagi to take the Checkpoint without him. After Kaburagi's refusal, Aoyagi pulled out a note, implying he is the messenger for the God of Orangena, and it was His order or Issa to go for the Checkpoint.
Kaburagi deployed a 2-stage acceleration so he can make his path unpredictable, however, he seems to have suffered a gearing issue when his bike can't engage into top gear in time.
Kaburagi and Doubashi race desperately in the final 80m, and when they finally cross the finish line for the checkpoint, both of them, including their respective fans believe they have won. However, the announcers reveal that it was Doubashi who won by a small but clear margin.
1: #15 Doubashi Masakiyo
2: #6 Kaburagi Issa
Dejected, Aoyagi is lost as to how to console Kaburagi, but Danichiku managed to get their attention from the side of the road. Danichiku offers to high-five Kaburagi and Aoyagi, despite Kaburagi not wanting to talk to him because he let him down. Sugimoto Terufumi, Koga, Kanzaki Miki also offer their support instead of scolding him for losing, something Hakogaku, and Team SS would had done. Aoyagi explained to Kaburagi that it is because Sugimoto and Koga know a lot about losing as they are experiencing it by not riding. Kaburagi resolves to beat Doubashi when they race each other again.
As the winning school of the Sprinter's Checkpoint, Izumida orders Teshima to give way, and let Hakogaku members to lead the peloton, but Izumida soon decided to break away because he conserved enough energy to pull the team in the flats. Teshima, who already predicted this, lead Sohoku pack to chase them. However, given that Teshima is poor on the flat, he sent Naruko to keep up with Izumida, and they decided to go for the Sprinter's Checkpoint, with Kuroda and Imaizumi both giving the green light to battle until they catch up to the sprinters.
Naruko and Imaizumi scold Kaburagi because they don't like him, and Teshima comforts Aoyagi for losing, but Teshima gave an order to Onoda to stay close to the front, as Teshima realises Hakogaku has deliberately slowed down to draw them closer to the peloton as a bait to try and eliminate Onoda as a threat seeing he is wearing the number 1 zekken and is a climber, something Kaburagi still doesn't realise.
The Climber's Checkpoint is on National Route 119, Nikkou Kaidou, a mountain road lined with tall cedar trees leading to Nikkou-Toushou Shrine. The winding road starts the ascend to 1173m above sea level. A short distance away from the hairpin turn outside Akechidaira Restaurant.
As soon as the pack caught up with Sohoku and Hakogaku, as they head towards Nikkou City, Onoda gets swallowed by the pack again and pinned by two rider riding close to him, blocking his path to the front as Hakogaku planned, leaving Sohoku with no choice but to send Teshima to try for first day King the mountain against Manami, as Izumida also decides not to send Shinkai Yuto to go for the Checkpoint as Sohoku cannot enter a two-on-two battle.
However, Onoda can't stay pinned because riders are more worried about individually getting through the climb the peloton will stretch into a line instead, and Onoda managed to use his metal pedal to clip Yamagata Mogari's Inashiro Bunya, a second year climber as assistant for the climb stages. The early favourite is Bunya's teammate, Kawahara Gunpei. However, somewhere during the climb, Onoda ended up in last place.
Teshima tried hard to keep pace with Manami, but he pushed so hard that he had a lapse in concentration and almost fell out of the race with a little more than 4km to go, but managed to regather and continue. After the actual race started at the 3km remaining mark. By the time they are just less than 2km to go, they caught and passed Gunpei, who seemed to set an impossible pace when he broke away early. By the time they passed the 1.25km remaining mark, the crowd acknowledges Teshima's determination to keep up with Manami and cheered him on.
Manami experiences some mechanical trouble with his chain coming off due to the stress of his high gear climb, just as he moves to the second-to-highest gear. Teshima waits for him with 300m to go. Despite going beyond his 'ordinary' abilities, Teshima loses to Manami. Teshima nearly collapse after the checkpoint but Onoda has broken free of the pack set to block him by utilizing a two-step acceleration combined with his high-cadence riding so he can create his own passing lane on the further left side of the road, then he sang a new Love Hime theme song to get ahead, he also received help from the rest of the pack to abandon blocking and give him free passes as a sign of respect, but Onoda snuck behind Kyoto Fushimi, but he must beat Yamaguchi, a sprinter, in order for Kyofushimi to abandon pursuit. He arrives just in time to give Teshima assist, even when both Sohoku and Hakogaku are over 4.5 minutes behind Teshima and Manami. He caught with Teshima and saved him
1: #13 Manami Sangaku
2: #5Teshima Junta
3: #1 Onoda Sakamichi
After the results are shown, Sohoku is elated by the result because Teshima only lost by milliseconds, rather than minutes as many predicted.
Day 1 Checkpoint
The checkpoint is less than 10km from the Climber's Checkpoint.