Hero 1 goes through the gauntlet to become a hero, and it's left him bitter. He's angry at how unfair it was. How many good men died just to prove purity (or whatever). He is a hero, but he's broken.
Hero 2 goes through the gauntlet to follow in his idol's footsteps: Hero 1. He gets through the gauntlet because he keeps reminding himself about Hero 1. He's got a symbol of hope.
However you tease the "twist" to the reader that this is not going to go as planned is up to you.
Hero 2 can hear bad things about his idol and deny it. Hero 2 has to put Hero 1 on a pedestal to preserve the symbol of hope, so he willingly ignores a few bad things that the reader knows is objectively true.
Meanwhile Hero 1 has been observing Hero 2's progress and has mixed emotions. He's probably going to die a meaningless death like all the others, or emerge jaded and broken just like himself. But as he comes closer to finishing, Hero 1 is emotionally invested, maybe contemplates cheating, intervening for Hero 2…, or is he suppose to stand back dispassionately? While Hero 1 is debating it (he's a broken hero), Hero 2 sees "a vision" of Hero 1 watching over him. Hero 1 is like "oh whatever, just die" and leaves, but Hero 2 is like "Hero 1 is my guardian angel! He watched over me and knew I could make it!"
By the time Hero 2 finishes the gauntlet, the reader knows these guys have very different ideologies, and those ideologies can't survive meeting each other. 2/3rds of the novel they finally meet and readers are excited, because they are in on the "twist", but the two characters aren't.
The last 3rd of the story is how this is reconciled. Hero 2 is disillusioned when his ideology falls, but it was flawed to begin with. He's got to find his own strength, not just idol worship. Meanwhile Hero 1 has either created a self-fulfilled prophecy that the gauntlet is a bad hero-maker, or he realizes that a hero is more than winning challenges it is a symbol of hope and he has a path to redemption.
You still get the twist but it's not about tricking the reader, it's about tricking the characters.
Probably opinion-based, but consider the goal is not to "trick the reader" but to put your MC in agony and conflict. Everything they worked for and believed in up to that point is stripped away! The reader is turning pages because they know that a big reveal is coming, and they can't wait to watch this collision. Let your reader in on the twist (by stages), don't tell the characters it's coming. You get suspense which is a better build, and there's still a twist because the characters will do SOMEthing – we have no idea what – but it's more about wrecking these characters' lives.