Camille McMillan is a cycling photographer and the brains behind Further, the new long distance cycling event based in the Pyrenees. Camille grew up racing bicycles before picking up his camera and documenting bicycle races. He has followed the Tour de France and shadowed the Garmin-Sharp Professional Cycling team. He's edited journals and curated exhibitions, but now he turns his focus to creating and new and different bike race. We caught up with Camille to find out a bit more about his history and about Further.
Tell us a little about your history with cycling. How did you begin cycling and what made you want to document cycling with photography?
I used to take pictures when I was with my old man at the races, I still have them somewhere. Thats where I started cycling, the old man taking me to the races. My first race was when I was 8 years old, it was an old school cyclo-cross race. Straight down the hill and through the river ... it was cold, grim and I was lapped.
I kind of knew I wanted to document cycling through photography when I was not interested in winning anymore. I won a Road Race in East Anglia somewhere, and was more interested in how the sprint looked rather than how it went. I also had a conversation with an old Pro, I was wanting that to be my life but he explained Le Metier to me. After that I realised that I did not want to do a job where you just wear a uniform and have to do gear just to earn a crust and keep up.
What attracts you to long distance cycling and how does it differ to following the professional peloton?
It's the stories, there are far more stories in long distance racing. The narrative is personal to each racer and the racing is not prescribed.
Why did you create Further? What are you hoping to achieve with your race?
I want people to race and have fun, to look at racing as not just a Strava segment. There is more to life than watts and metrics. Racing can and should be fun and I wish to create something that is inspiring, to enable riders do something that's wild and pushes them to their limit.
The race is based in the Ariege, an area where you have lived for a number of years. Why did you decide to move to this particular area of France and why is it suited to Further?
I spent a couple of years camping and following the Tour De France on my Motorcycle. I woke up in the Ariege one morning and felt like this is a great place to be. It felt like a long way from anywhere. It had the feeling of un explored. Thats one of the reasons for Further being here. It's far out, one can get lost down here.
What can the racers of the inaugural Further expect out on the ride?
They can expect to be challenged by the distance in the time and the elevation in the distance. Further is taking the riders to the top of a mountain, it's leaving the EU, going through borders and the riders will have to carry their bicycles. I hope the riders have a good long lost weekend.