I wonder why...I'll give it my usual 8, and this time I (kinda) mean it. Just like gregowlerson, the more I look at it, the more I like it. I really like stages 1 and 2, with the nasty little climbs, then MdB twice: great appetizer and weekend entertainment. Two flat stages don't bother me before the chrono. The two ITTs are well placed, 58 km total is just about right considering the route.
After stage 5, you would think that some riders will lose time on the Rog-Pog duo will go on the offensive. Stage 6 is flat, stage 7 is long with a nasty climb close to the finish. Fine. Then we get into the weekend with a great stage 8 (I like the combo) and a meh stage 9...although back to back tough days would have doomed GC action on stage 8. OK.
Stage 10 easy after the rest day, I'm cool with that, I like stage 11 but why not as a MTF? Isn't that what the double calls for? Weird. Stage 12 with echelons potential, 13 is a liaison stage, and I like stage 14 with its punchy course. Stage 15 is good but not great, I would have expected it to be much tougher before the rest day.
Stage 16 easy, and we get to stage 17 and a tough MTF, although the route leading to the Portet isn't that hard. Yet, maybe it will help riders to still have gas in the tank comes stage 19. Then easy, final chrono, and Paris.
All-in-all, we can criticize many aspects of this route, but as a whole, it's "balanced" and quite good actually.