Sakurai Tsuyoshi is a first-year student at Sohoku High School, who joined the Sohoku High Bicycle Club as a beginner three weeks before Onoda Sakamichi did, and around the same time as Kawada Takuya. Sakurai functions as a minor background character and is first seen among the other first-years when Onoda joins the club. He participates in the First-Year Welcome Race, but doesn't perform well. According to Miki, Sakurai was a baseball regular in middle school.
He could not attend Training Camp during first year due to a cold.
→ Main article: First-Year Welcome Race