Australian Mark Renshaw took control of the Tour of Qatar from his compatriot Heinrich Haussler after winning Thursday's fourth stage. The HTC rider, who climbed to the top of the overall standings courtesy of bonus points, prevailed in a sprint finish ahead of Italy's Daniele Bennati and Tom Boonen of Belgium. Haussler, who took over the lead from Boonen on Wednesday after his second successive stage win, came in fourth to be placed six seconds behind Renshaw ahead of Friday's fifth and final stage, a 126.5km run from the Sealine Beach Resort to Doha's Corniche.
"Mark executed the perfect sprint, but there's still one day to go and I'll do my best to reclaim the (leader's) golden jersey," said Haussler. Renshaw, reflecting on his stage win, said: "I had the good fortune to be well placed in the sprint behind Bennati and I kicked on at the right time." The 28-year-old normally plays 'domestique' to Mark Cavendish but took over as his team's leader after the Briton's fall in the prologue.
Tour of Qatar Stage 4
1. Mark Renshaw (AUS) HTC 3:12:36
2. Daniele Bennati (ITA) @ s.t.
3. Tom Boonen (BEL)
4. Heinrich Haussler (AUS)
5. Denis Galimzyanov (RUS)
6. Roger Kluge (GER)
7. Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP)
8. Tomas Vaitkus (LIT)
9. Roger Hammond (GBR)
10. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL)
1. Mark Renshaw (AUS) 12:47:00
2. Heinrich Haussler (AUS) @ .06
3. Daniele Bennati (ITA) @ .15
4. Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP) @ .24
5. Roger Hammond (GBR) @ .36
6. Jeremy Hunt (GBR) @ .37
7. Gabriel Rasch (NOR) @ .40
8. Bernhard Eisel (AUT) @ 1:03
9. Marcus Burghardt (GER) @ 1:32
10. Gert Steegmans (BEL) @ 1:33