The Norwegian began stage 4 of the Tour of Qatar with a 26-second lead, but two flats cost him the jersey.
The Katusha rider edges Cavendish at the finish line of stage 2, but the latter holds onto his overall race lead.
Mark Cavendish picks up his first victory of the season by winning a bunch sprint and now leads the race's overall standings.
Mark Cavendish says he may or may not reconsider his goal of winning an Olympic gold medal on the track after this week's Tour of Qatar.
Global Cycling Network takes a ride with Mark Cavendish
Once among cycling's fastest sprinters, Tyler Farrar is happy to lend his services to his teammates as a lead out rider at Dimension Data
The Sky rider was able to avoid a crash in the final kilometer that seemed to hold up his sprint rivals.
The German edges last year's overall winner in a bunch sprint.
Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel will face off for the first time in more a year starting Wednesday at the Dubai Tour.
The British sprinter will make his season debut this weekend at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Australia.