Sam Bennett during his time with Sean Kelly-An Post. INPHO/Ciaran Fallon

One of Ireland's three Tour de France participants dropped out today

Sam Bennett had been Lanterne Rouge.

IRELAND’S SAM BENNETT has dropped out of the 2015 Tour de France but he was far from the only casualty today.

The Bora-Argon 18 rider had been sitting in last position — the Lanterne Rouge — before today’s Stage 17 but was one of a number of riders including the third placed Tejay van Garderen, world champion Michal Kwiatkowski, Nathan Haas and Jerome Coppel to abandon the race.

Simon Geschke (Giant Alpecian) claimed his first Tour stage victory as he rode away from a breakaway group with 50km to go and stayed away at col d’Allos to keep enough of a lead over of Thibaut Pinot who crashed in the descent.

Chris Froome retained the yellow jersey and his 3’10″ lead as he crossed the line along with Nairo Quintana, while Alberto Contador lost even more time due due to a crash in the descent of col d’Allos.

There was better news for Ireland’s Nico Roche (Sky) who finished seventh after being part of the break while Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) came home some 21 minutes down in 82nd.

The pair not sit 35th and 43rd overall.

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