Cavendish takes gold jersey
Al Khor - Mark Cavendish contined his fine form on Wednesday as the Isle of Man speedster won for the second straight day by taking the fourth stage of the Tour of Qatar and seizing the overall lead.
The British rider who is in his first season with Omega Pharma-Quick Step after a move from Team Sky, won a mass sprint after 160km of racing between the Camel Race Track and Al Khor Corniche.
He came home ahead of Dutchman Barry Markus of Vacansoleil - in a repeat 1-2 finish in stage 3 - while Astana's Andrea Guardini of Italy claimed third spot.
The 27-year-old who has picked up 23 stage wins on the Tour de France, a record for a sprinter and fourth all-time, now has six victories on the roads of Qatar and takes the gold jersey from American Brent Bookwalter by two seconds.
Thursday's penultimate stage will see the peloton travel over 154km from Al Zubara Fort to Madinat Al Shamal, before the final day on Friday and the race conclusion in Doha.
Tour of Qatar results after Wednesday's fourth stage:
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/Omega Pharma), 160 km in 3hr 30min 5sec
2. Markus Barry (NED) same time
3. Andrea Guardini (ITA) s.t.
4. Filippo Fortin (ITA) s.t.
5. Alexander Kristoff (NOR) s.t.
6. Jonathan Cantwell (AUS) s.t.
7. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) s.t.
8. Aidis Kruopis (LTU) s.t.
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) s.t.
10. Davide Apollonio (ITA) s.t.
1. Mark Cavendish (GBR/Omega Pharma), 462 km in 10hr 20min 1sec
2. Brent Bookwalter (USA) at 2sec
3. Taylor Phinney (USA) 8
4. Adam Blythe (GBR) 9
5. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) 12
6. Michael Schar (SUI) 12
7. Bernhard Eisel (AUT) 13
8. Mathew Hayman (AUS) 14
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) 16
10. Geraint Thomas (GBR) 17