The Biography Page linked to on the button bar above has had some further information added to it. It always seemed curious that, although Bertin was a road team member for France Sport and Antonin Magne’s domestique, he was best known as a track cyclist. For that you need talent, of course, but you also need access to a track to develop the specific skill sets of that type of rider. Where did Andre Bertin learn to be a professional level track rider? The simple answer is, “At home.”
St. Laurent Blagny had a 430m, fir velodrome from 1923 to 1934. It was called the Velodrome Rosati and was designed and built by M. Durand, the engineer behind the construction of the Velodrome d’ Hiver in Paris in 1909. It existed just long enough for a child born in 1912 to come of age as both a man and as a cyclist. It seems no coincidence that Andre Bertin’s professional career began just at the time that the velodrome was being demolished in 1934 to make way for a new highway and an exhibition ground.
Today, the site is a municipal park and fronts the local library. There is a memorial to the velodrome with a quirky topiary cyclist and concrete track. Perhaps they are there to remind passersby that the area used to hum with the sound of tires on wood and with the cheers of the crowd for the local hero, Andre Bertin.
Further information can be found at: Artois L’ Avenir.