* Britain beat rivals Australia in thrilling final
* Eclipse own Beijing record (Adds quotes, details)
MELBOURNE, April 4 (Reuters) - Britain set a world record to win the men's team pursuit title at the track world cycling championships in Melbourne on Wednesday to strike a psychological blow against the hosts ahead of the London Olympics.
Edward Clancy, Steven Burke, Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas's scorching time of three minutes 53.295 seconds at the Hisense Arena surpassed the previous mark of 3:53.314 set by Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
It also left the world champion team of Glenn O'Shea, Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis and Michael Hepburn in their wake, despite the Australians recording the third fastest time ever.
"I finished the whole last lap off the back and I was almost expecting the worst. I looked at the scoreboard and thought 'Oh man, I'm going to lose it on me!'" Clancy told reporters.
"We knew it would be close and we didn't know which way it was going to go... Then I saw on the scoreboard and I kind of noticed the crowd was a little bit quieter than they had been and I thought: 'Ah, it's looking good' Then it kind of sank in."
New Zealand defeated Russia in the bronze medal final.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by John O'Brien)
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