Austria's Marcel Hirscher clears a gate during the men's giant slalom in Adelboden, on January 6, 2018

Adelboden (Switzerland) (AFP) - Marcel Hirscher won a 51st career World Cup race on Saturday to lift him to third in career victories as he edged Henrik Kristoffersen and Alexis Pinturault in the Adelboden giant slalom.

Austrian Hirscher has dominated the World Cup giant slalom for seven years now, but came fourth at the last two Olympic Games.

His key rivals in the February Olympics at Pyeongchang, South Korea were breathing down his neck in Switzerland on Saturday with the 23-year-old Kristoffersen 0.17sec back for his sixth second spot of the season and Pinturault at 0.21sec having stood fifth after the first run.

The Norwegian was bronze medallists at slalom and the Frenchman in the giant slalom at the Sochi games four years ago.

But Hirscher is enjoying another brilliant World Cup season and victory on this Swiss Chuenisbaergli slope, considered the toughest on the giant slalom circuit, is a huge confidence booster for the Austrian.

The 28-year-old Hirscher moves ahead of Italian icon Alberto Tomba with his 51st career World Cup win.

Hirscher is closing in on Austrian Hermann Maier’s total of 54 World Cup wins, but is still far behind the record of 86, held by Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark.