The British climber said that every race he does well in is simply a "stepping stone" to the next stage of his young career, and that his Giro result was "a good step, at the right time, and at the right age to show this kind of potential".
The 24-year-old never dropped outside the top 25 on the general classification throughout the race, and led the white jersey competition as best young rider for a day on stage 13 from Pinerolo to Ceresole Reale before first Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos) and then Astana's Miguel Angel Lopez came to the fore, with Carthy eventually finishing third in the competition.
As well as finishing only just outside the top 10 on the GC, Carthy also went on the attack on the 'Il Lombardia stage' – stage 15 to Como – and finished fourth, in the same group as Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and eventual Giro winner Richard Carapaz (Movistar).
After the race's second rest day, Carthy then finished fifth on stage 16 to Ponte di Legno, again in the company of Carapaz and Nibali, and along with EF teammate Joe Dombrowski, who finished a place behind him in 12th on the GC in Verona, crowning a successful Giro for the US WorldTour team.
"I'm happy," Carthy told reporters, including Cyclingnews, after pulling to a halt after the Giro's final time trial stage. "But I'm not going to get complacent. I've still a lot of work to do – to tweak things, improve things.
"It's been hard," he admitted, "but every race is hard these days; there are no easy races – even the ones at the start of the season and at the end of the season. From Australia to China, everything's the same these days, more or less.
"My performance has been good, and my head's been good, and I can't ask for any more," he added of his Giro performance.
Asked what's next for him, Carthy was pragmatic, playing down his achievements in what is only his third season at WorldTour level.
"It's now up to the team," he said. "They chose me to ride for them, they pay me, and I think they know me well as a rider. I know myself, but, at the same time, they've got more experience than me at this kind of thing. I'm going to carry on as normal now for this season – I'm not going to change anything – and then at the end of the season we'll assess everything, and put together a plan for the future.
"Every race I do well in is a stepping stone," continued Carthy. "I don't think you ever really reach the finished product anyway. There's a long way to go.
"It's a good step, at the right time, and at the right age to show this kind of potential. But that's all I've shown: potential. I've not won a stage, I've not gallivanted off for three stages and finished third overall. Eleventh overall and no stage win… I think for my age it's good, but it's just a good sign of potential," he said.