Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen of the Dimension Data team took the leader’s golden jersey after winning the Tour of Qatar’s third stage on Wednesday.
Boasson Hagen won the 11.4km time-trial around the Lusail circuit in 13min 26sec, finishing 25sec ahead of Dutch rider Jos Van Emden, with Italian Manuel Quinziato in third, a further 4sec adrift.
Cavendish could only finish seventh, at 44sec, and now sits 26sec behind his team-mate in the overall standings.
Hagen, 28, said: “I feel stronger than last year and with luck I am. I succeeded in winning today, now I’ll try to keep hold of the golden jersey.”
Thursday’s fourth stage is a 189km ride from Al Zubarah Fort to Madinat Al Shamal. – Agence France-Presse