Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes were relegated in the men's team sprint at the Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne.
The trio initially thought they had advanced to the third-placed ride-off, but the takeover between Hindes and Kenny - the first and second riders, respectively - took place too soon.
Defending champions Germany, who had qualified second fastest, were also among four of the 17 teams relegated, leaving France to contest the final with Australia.
Hoy said: "I think we had a lot of positives to take from the ride itself and for Phil to step up there and do a personal best by a huge margin and do a 17.5 (seconds) it's getting closer to where we need to be.
"But to have made that mistake in the changeover he'll be disappointed with that.
"He came out a little bit early, Jason came through the inside and we were outside the changeover box area, by quite a long way - it's not even worth appealing against."