Mark Cavendish is the new leader of the Tour of Qatar after taking his second sprint victory in two days, with Barry Markus of Vacansoleil-DCM finishing second and Andrea Guardini of Astana coming third on the 160km stage from the Camel Race Track to the Al Khor Corniche.
With a little over a kilometre to go, the peloton, which had reined in the day's break, swept round a big roundabout, leaving it strung out as it headed under the flamme rouge, and as the group reformed a crash in the middle of the pack brought a number of riders down.
With two stages to go, Cavendish's 10 second time bonus for winning today sees him overhaul BMC Racing's Brent Bookwalter, who now lies in second place another two seconds back, with team mate and felow American Taylor Phinney third.
Talking about the final kilometeres of the stage, Cavendish said: "Zdenek Stybar did a perfect job with 5km to go, and then Matteo Trentin put me in perfect position in the last roundabout at the 1.5 kilometer point.
"Niki Terpstra found me with a kilometer to go and moved me into the top 15, and I used the same tactics I did last year when I won on the same stage. The wind came from the right, everyone goes right, so I went left, and was shielded. So, I got the perfect position and acceleration in the sprint to get the win."
Tour of Qatar Stage 4 result 1 CAVENDISH Mark OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 3h 30' 05" 2 MARKUS Barry VACANSOLEIL-DCM All at same time 3 GUARDINI Andrea ASTANA PRO TEAM 4 FORTIN Filippo BARDIANI VALVOLE-CSF INOX 5 KRISTOFF Alexander KATUSHA TEAM 6 CANTWELL Jonathan TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF 7 BOUHANNI Nacer FDJ 8 KRUOPIS Aidis ORICA GREENEDGE 9 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald SKY PROCYCLING 10 APPOLLONIO Davide AG2R LA MONDIALE 11 HAUSSLER Heinrich IAM CYCLING 12 VAN HUMMEL Kenny VACANSOLEIL-DCM 13 KLUGE Roger TEAM NETAPP-ENDURA 14 BLYTHE Adam BMC RACING TEAM 15 DEGENKOLB John TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO 16 SOUPE GEOFFREY FDJ 17 BAGDONAS Gediminas AG2R LA MONDIALE 18 NISHITANI Taiji JAPAN 19 PASQUALON Andrea BARDIANI VALVOLE-CSF INOX 20 DELLE STELLE Christian BARDIANI VALVOLE-CSF INOX Overall standings after Stage 4 1 CAVENDISH Mark OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 10h 20' 01" 2 BOOKWALTER Brent BMC RACING TEAM + 00' 02" 3 PHINNEY Taylor BMC RACING TEAM + 00' 08" 4 BLYTHE Adam BMC RACING TEAM + 00' 09" 5 VAN AVERMAET Greg BMC RACING TEAM + 00' 12" 6 SCHÄR Michael BMC RACING TEAM + 00' 12" 7 EISEL Bernhard SKY PROCYCLING + 00' 13" 8 HAYMAN Mathew SKY PROCYCLING + 00' 14" 9 BOASSON HAGEN Edvad SKY PROCYCLING + 00' 16" 10 THOMAS Geraint SKY PROCYCLING + 00' 17"