In 1994, he finished fourth at the Giro del Trentino and the Giro di Toscana before his second participation at the Giro d'Italia, where he was supposed to help Chiappucci. He won two consecutive mountain stages, earning his first victory as a professional in the fourteenth stage to Merano. In the following stage to Aprica, which featured the renowned Stelvio Pass and the Mortirolo Pass, Pantani attacked at the base of Mortirolo and broke free at the Valico di Santa Cristina to win the stage at Aprica and place second in the overall classification. He ultimately finished the race behind Eugeni Berzin but ahead of Miguel Indurain, who had won the two previous Giros. That same year Pantani made his Tour de France debut, coming in third and winning the young rider classification along the way. In 1995, he was hit by a car while training, preventing him from riding the Giro, but rode the Tour and won stages at Alpe d'Huez and Guzet-Neige. He also finished thirteenth and claimed his second successive best young rider prize. He also won a stage at the Tour de Suisse and finished third in the 1995 World Championships road race in Duitama, Colombia, behind Spaniards Abraham Olano and Miguel Indurain. Shortly after returning to Italy, he collided head-on with a car during the Italian Milano–Torino race, sustaining multiple fractures to the left tibia and fibula, injuries that threatened his career and forced him to miss most of the 1996 season.