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Former national cycling champ dies of COVID-19 complications


Lupo Alava

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya — A former national cycling tour champion died on Thursday due to complications arising from a coronavirus disease infection, officials confirmed on Saturday.

Lupo Alava, who was 63 when he passed away, was the 1980 Marlboro Tour of Luzon’s Rookie of the Year awardee, the Tour ng Pilipinas 1980 first lap winner, and overall champion in the Mindanao and Visayas laps and eighth in the finals nationwide.

Details about his medical condition have not been made public, but Alava’s death was confirmed by a health official and the Philippine Information Agency.

A resident of Poblacion village in Bambang town, Alava was the past president of the Presidential Cycling Federation, and had been an active professional cyclist until 1985.

He married Gertrude Alava and had three children: Seynth, Sylvester, and Genevieve.

Alava tried but failed to land a seat in the Bambang council, sources said.

After retiring, the athlete focused on tilapia fish farming in Villa Coloma also in Bagabag and was once judged as outstanding fisherman (fish category) by the Gawad-Saka Awards search for outstanding agricultural achievers of the Department of Agriculture.

An agriculture graduate, Alava was once quoted as saying that he had to practice his profession.

He also put up a cycling shop to help young cyclists.

As a hobby, he founded cycling and mountain biking clubs in Nueva Vizcaya along with fellow cyclists, retired police officer Domingo Quilban, jeepney operator Carlo Guieb and Ariel Maraña, who migrated to the United States. VILLAMOR VISAYA JR.

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